Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Take 2

Here is the state of the Russian Coat skirt. Very sad looking isn't it?

I had originally thought to leave it be until this weekend, but yesterday at work I couldn't get the problem off my mind. With the help of Google to refresh my memory on my junior high geometry, I believe I will have something that will now fit. Cross your fingers, chant, pray, or do whatever it is you happen to do, to help me get my knitting mojo back!

The good knitting news is that I have almost finished with the first Norwegian Snail Mitten. I am so pleased with how this turned out. The color choices worked well I think.

Just a bit more knitting to do on the thumb, then the duplicate stitching, and this baby will be ready for blocking.

I did do some work on the Lowry Pullover this week. Not a lot, but enough to be able to get a better photo of the multitudes of cables.

Not a whole lot to post tonight. Still a bit bummed about that Russian Coat fiasco. Hardest part about the whole thing is I usually treat myself to a nice new yarn purchase when something like this happens, but there's that whole resolution thing now :o( This will be quite a test of my willpower!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Crushed, Defeated, and PO'd


I sewed the skirt of the Russian Coat to the bodice, tried it on, and it looks like crap! When I tried on the bodice before, it seemed a bit tight, and I was sure I would have to block aggressively to get a comfortable fit. So, explain to me someone how this thing could have grown by about 8" just by putting the skirt on? It looks horrible! There is so much extra fabric in the back it sticks out like some fishtail skirt!

I'm so disappointed right now I don't even know if I can attempt any kind of fix today. This just doesn't make sense to me.

I've decided to set it aside until next weekend so I don't make it worse by jumping into some kind of fix that will make it worse :o(

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What a small world!

Yesterday I received a comment from someone who shares my name! How cool is it that there is someone else out there named after a spider who is as obsessive about knitting, crocheting, and crafting in general as me? Alas, there was no contact information left in the comment, so I can't email her. If you're reading this Delana, email me ( and let me know if your handiwork is available for viewing somewhere on the internet!

In other news, not only did the skirt portion of the Russian Coat grow by leaps and bounds by this weekend, it was finished. Tomorrow I will work on the seaming and finishing. I'll need to make a run to JoAnn's sometime too to get some nice closures for it.

I'm really pleased with the way this turned out. I was afraid I was going to run into a lot of trouble with it fitting since I tried to resize it by using smaller needles. The bodice is much more fitted than the one shown in Vogue Knitting, but I look better in fitted garments, so it's all good. The sleeves may need a bit of an edging, but I will decide on that once I have it all sewn together and try it on. If they do need a bit more length, I will just do a garter edging to match the skirt hem. I have plenty of both yarns left to add several inches if needed.

Not as much progress as I'd like to see on the snail mittens, but I ran into a little snag. Earlier this evening these were much further along when I realized I had completely forgotten to work the thumb opening! Oops!! After ripping out all of today's work, then having a nice cafe mocha to calm my frustration, I worked the thumb opening and started reknitting. I still think these have a chance of being finished up by month's end, especially with the Russian Coat so close to completion.

Just after Christmas, in one of my tours of Ravelry projects, I saw a tree skirt I wanted to make. I liked the finished project I saw so much, I decided to knit mine using the same yarn in the same colors. This is the Aran Tree Skirt from Handknit Holidays. I only worked on it a bit for a couple of days before setting it aside. I'm thinking that I may take a break from sweater knitting and make this my next larger scale project to finish up. I'll try to get a better photo next time. This one makes the yarn look kind of sparkly, and it's not in the least. I am using Simply Soft double stranded. Should make for a fairly durable, and better yet, machine washable, tree skirt that we can enjoy next Christmas.

Yesterday brought the final installment of the February mid-month dishcloth pattern. I knit this using a really soft organic cotton in a light worsted weight, and it is to be used as a face cloth.

Someone once asked me what I do with all those dishcloths .... I couldn't possibly need that many in my kitchen. Well, no, I don't need that many in my kitchen. I usually make the first pattern of the month (normally a picture type pattern) in kitchen worthy cotton, and some of them have never been used because the pile is so high. The mid-month patterns are usually repeating patterns of some sort, and I make those in lighter, softer, yarn and put them in a basket in my bathroom. The kids have all been threatened with bodily harm if any of them disappears and doesn't turn up in the weekly laundry!

Pretty soon, I will have to get rid of the regular washcloths in there, as there won't be any more room for them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hey baby, wanna swatch?

Every once in awhile I check out what keywords landed folks at my blog. Yesterday I had one that made me just about spit my soda all over the keyboard of my computer.

If you read my blog, you might remember a post last fall where I valiantly tried to finish off a couple of projects before casting on a new one that I had just received yarn in the mail for. I repeatedly mentioned in that post that even swatching would be cheating.

Weeellllllll, someone did a search (I don't even want an explanation for this one folks) for "obsessive compulsive cheater" and landed at my blog with it! I wonder how disappointed they were when they saw that swatching was a knitting activity and not a sexual activity LOL!

Tonight my snails got little faces to go with their little butts while I watched American Idol. Anybody else hooked on that show? The kid that sang Jailhouse Rock cracked me up!

The snail mittens seem to be knitting up pretty quickly, when I actually knit on them, so there may be hope yet to get them done my month's end. I'm not going to push it though, since I really want the Russian Coat done more than I want these done.

Speaking of the Russian Coat, there has been progress on it as well. I finished with the section of the skirt hem that is done in the multicolored Jasper, and am now onto the solid section, worked in Peruvia. It really doesn't look like I've made much progress since the last photo, but there's a ton of stitches packed onto that needle! Tonight is the first night I've been able to do more than 2 decrease rows before having to put it up for the day. I'm sure by this weekend it will have grown by leaps and bounds.

Next up in my quest to finished all these UFOs sitting around will be the fair isle tam I started in December and the Asymetrical Jacket I started *cringe* over a year ago.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Go Ahead ..... Make My Day!

Susan says I make her day! Shame on me for not catching up on emails in the order they were received. I actually received this back on February 6th, and I'm just now acknowledging it . Hope you won't hold that against me Susan :o)

I am now supposed to pass this along to up to 10 people whose blogs make my day and post a comment on their blogs to let them know.

Without further ado I would like to bestow this award on the following:

Rain : I love reading Rain's blog and look forward to every post. I think she's an amazing knitter and she inspires me with her sense of style.

Jen : When I grow up I want to be a designer just like Jen. Check out some of her patterns available in Ravelry.

Laurie : The sock queen of blogland. I love the stories about Dexter and his photos are too precious for words.

Marina : Her blog makes me cry. 'Nuff said!

Nanette : I am addicted to blogs about stranded knitting and this one will not disappoint anyone who reads it.

Kathy : I was checking my blog stats one day and found quite a few referrals from this blog. Somehow she had come across my finished Fyne vest and featured it in one of her posts. I fell in love with her blog ... all about fairisle and quilting.

Katherine : 2 of the most adorable kidlets I've ever seen, and an occasional knitting post.

Dave : If Laurie is the sock queen, Dave is the sock king.

Natalie : I don't know how Natalie gets any knitting done with all she has going on, but somehow she manages it. I've had the pleasure of meeting her in person when she was gracious enough to open her home to a knitting party.

Amy : How can you not love a roller derby knitter? I've also met Amy in person, however, I've not been to the knit group she hosts in quite some time.

Of course, there are other blogs which make my day, including Susan's, but I did have to limit my recipients to 10. Hope nobody feels left out :o(

In knitting news:

There was some progress this weekend on the Norwegian Snail Mittens. Look! Snail butts! I may do the duplicate stitching on the cuffs tomorrow.

Finally got a photo of the last 2 dishcloths I finished. The 2nd Feb discloth is coming along nicely too, but photos before it's finished just seems silly.

There was also progress on the Russian Coat. I finished the cuff section on both sleeves. The length seems just a tad short, so I will probably add some type of edging to it after it's all finished. Don't want to assume and have them be too long. Better to wait until it's all seamed up and I can try it on proper.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wanna kill stuff?

Katherine asked what computer game took me away from knitting for so long. Well, it is an older game that Paul and I used to play a lot. Diablo II to be exact. It's an RPG game where you get to pick to be one of 7 characters and choose a "build" for that character based on where you decide to put your skill points when you earn them. Around the first of the year Paul found a mod to the game and it pretty much made the game brand new. Yes, the basic quests are still there, but the designer of this mod completely revamped all the skillsets for each character, and added a lot of side quests that earn you nice bonuses.

Our days went pretty much like this:

(first thing in the morning)
Paul: Wish we could stay home and play Diablo.
Me: Me too.
Paul: Man this day is dragging.
Me: Yeah, I feel like I've been at work a whole week today.
Paul: Wish we could go home and play Diablo.
Me: Me too.
(still later)
Paul: So, we gonna play Diablo tonight?
Me: Well, I want to do some knitting, so maybe just for an hour or so when we get home.
(as soon as we walk in the door)
Paul: Wanna kill stuff?
Me: Yeah!

And we'd be questing until we realized that the 11:00 news was over and it was time to get some sleep before starting the whole thing over again LOL.

In yesterday's post I promised a rundown of my January and February knitting goals and how I stood on them. For 2008, I decided to not be so darn aggressive with my goals. I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish a lot of projects in 2007 and when I couldn't get them done I felt like I had failed. How could anyone who finished about 60 projects in one year (a lot were small, but still 60!!) feel like they failed? My initial idea of "not so aggressive" was to set a goal of finishing one large project that was in progress, finish one small project that was in progress, cast on one new project, and knit both monthly dishcloth kal patterns. That may still seem to be aggressive, but I have a lot of fairly far along on progress large projects, so it seemed reasonable for at least the beginning several months of the year.

For January:

  1. Knit both monthly dishcloth kal dishcloths (done)
  2. Finish Annemor #11 gloves (done, but in Feb)
  3. Finish Russian Coat (sadly, still not finished)
  4. Cast on Norwegian Snail mittens (done, but in Feb)

The mistake I made was setting my February goals too soon. Now, since I didn't complete my January list, I feel like I have to finish that and my original February goals. Will I ever learn?

For February:
  1. Knit both monthly dishcloth kal patterns (1 down, the other starts tomorrow)
  2. Finish Norwegian Snail mittens (not about to happen since I just cast them on)
  3. Finish Asymetrical Jacket (not gonna happen since it's still sitting in the craft room and the Russian Coat still isn't finished)
  4. Cast on Lowry Sweater (done)

I have refused to even think about March until I see where I stand on the first 2 lists at the end of February. I will train myself not to stress about knitting. It's supposed to be relaxing after all.

I made a resolution not to spend any money on yarn until I've knit up most of the projects I already have yarn for, but I have not set any limits on book, pattern, and tool purchases. Tonight when I got home from work I had my newest acquisition sitting on the table waiting for me.

I bought the Options Harmony wood interchangeable needle set from Knit Picks. I am so in love with these needles! The colors make knitting even the simplest project more interesting. I've never used the interchangeables from KP, so I hope the joins are smooth and the cables stay in place. I've heard some not so good things about the Boye set that was similar to this one.

As for the Russian Coat ....

I finished up the bodice and arm (except for the cuff) section before the end of December, and was really hoping to have the skirt finished in January. Alas "killing stuff" took over my life and I knit a whole 3 rows I believe.

I'm just about to the color change on the skirt, and the progress should seem to go faster since the decreasing makes the rows shorter and shorter each night. I am enchanted once more with this yarn and thus this project, so no other large projects should take my attention away until it's finished.

I did cast on the Lowry sweater as I planned in February. This will be a monstrous mutant man sweater for my step father for his birthday in October. I haven't figured out all the settings on the new digital camera, but I'm sure once I do, I can get a much better photo of both the color and cables in this project. I plan to take my time picking away at this project for a few months before putting a lot of energy into finishing it.

The Norwegian Snail mittens I cast on a couple days ago will probably become my small project to be finished in March. I love the color combo I chose, and the fact that it's using up some of my stash!

Woohoo I've managed to blog 2 days in a row. Let's see if I can be more consistent now that I've gotten a start.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's Alive!!!

Why yes, I am still around!

And, I'm here to let you know that ......

The rumors that I purchased one skein too many and Paul finally did me in and buried me in the backyard are simply not true!!

ROFL I think I scared the bejeezus out of a few IRL friends. When they hadn't seen me blog for quite some time, and hadn't seen me at any knit groups (work sucks for keeping up with social knitting when the group usually meets during work hours), they decided it was time to call me up and set a knit date for a weekend. Unbeknownst to them, Paul and I had disconnected our home phone since the only calls that seemed to come in were the hang up calls in the wee hours of the night when we were trying to sleep. Poor things had all kinds of scenarios running rampant about what had happened to me. Once they finally got hold of me on my cell and arranged a time for us to get together, we all had a good laugh about the rumors.

I will 'fess up now and let you know that I have not been doing much knitting since my trip in December. I know!!! **gasp** Delana is not knitting her little heart out like a fiend. Instead, she's had her nose buried in a computer game with her hubby since the beginning of January and has finished precious little knitting since then. The game is starting to lose it's obsessive "newness" and I'm getting the knitting bug back again, so you'll be seeing more of me here from now on.

I had this great list of New Year's Knitting Resolutions, but never did get around to posting them. Just for shits and giggles (sorry if the mild profanity offends, but I use it from time to time *shrug*) let's take a look at that list ....

1. After taking stock of the condition of my craft room, I decided that I would not purchase yarn (with two exceptions) in 2008 until I had knit a good portion of the projects I have already purchased yarn for and have not even started. Some I had even forgotten about until I started digging around. The two exceptions are: purchases of yarn for small projects from yarn shops found during trips is allowed, as I like to make something that reminds me of the trip when I use it; purchases of yarn for dishcloths for the monthly dishcloth kal is allowed.

2. I will knit each pattern for the monthly dishcloth kal in 2008 and not fall behind, then never knit patterns like I have the past 2 years.

3. I will be better about blogging (LOL killed this one already didn't I?)

4. I will be better about commenting on blogs that I read (Ummmm pretty much killed this one too)

5. I will be reasonable about my monthly goal setting. I got too optimistic in 2007, then quit setting the goals because I wasn't meeting them.

So, where do we stand? It is February 14 and this is my first post of the year (kill #3). It is February 14 and I have 1000 unread blog posts in my bloglines account (kill #4). It is February 14 and even though I was reasonable with my January knitting goal, I only finished the 3rd of 4 objectives last night (kill #5). It is February 14 and I am ready to cast on the 2nd of February's dishcloths (yea!! I am fulfilling #2) It is February 14 and the only yarn I have purchased is all the colors suggested for the 2008 monthly dishcloth kal (yea!!! I am fulfilling #1)

Not too shabby considering I can fix the ones I've not kept up with, all in all.

Now for a few photos that I've had on the camera for about 6 weeks that need to be posted.

Several dishcloths finished.

Wove in the final ends on the Annemor #11 gloves last night.

Finally finished up the Leg Cozies for Jenn (these were actually done just before X-mas).

Finished the hat for Paul with the yarn he chose in Texas.

Love love love these gloves. I finished them up just after X-mas. All the ladies at work keep threatening to steal these.

Very fuzzy photo, but get a load of that halo. Gotta love 100% angora!!

I promise to blog tomorrow about what my January goals were, what my February goals are, and where I stand on them. Plus, I'll pull out the projects in question and post some in progress photos.